At 05:36 PM 2/8/2005, Wendy Tate wrote:
>I’ve been using Papercut Quota for about a year and a half, but haven’t set it up to charge MSU accounts. I let our faculty and staff print without restrictions, and merely track their usage. Our graduate students pay into their own Econ printing accounts with cash, which turns into credit on the printing system.
>The software charges/tracks usage based on the users Windows domain logon name. I don’t know how you’d link it back to MSU accounts. It does make handy reports of people’s printer usage, so if you wanted to look at everyone’s totals every so often and create a bill for them, I suppose you could.
>You do have to have a print server set up, though. If you’re printing directly to the HP JetDirect’s IP address, the Papercut system won’t work.
>Their web address is http://www.papercut.biz. Their pricing depends on the number of users on your network. You can get a free fully-functioning trial version, though.
That's interesting. I had never heard of that product before. If we were to do something like this, we'd need project-based accounting. User-based accounting would not suffice. So it looks like we'd have to get into Papercut Chargeback instead of Papercut Quota. And that looks expensive. But I'm asking the PaperCut people for a price quote, anyway.
Our most expensive printers to operate are a color laserjet and a widebed printer. There is some interest in getting a faster laserjet. Currently the slow speed of that printer keeps people from abusing it. The usage is self-limiting. But if we went to a fast one, we'd probably need to institute some controls.
But in the university environment, it seems user-based chargebacks would not work. Sometimes people would need to print for instructional purposes, and other times for grant-related research, and it wouldn't always be the same grant account. So we would need project-based accounting.